|This isn’t the one we saw yesterday, however the markings are close enough. Borrowed from flickriver.|
Yep while cleaning up part of the crap pile in the backyard we discovered a young copperhead snake. It has been beheaded and the body disposed. I am not a fan of snakes however, I will let “friendly” non poisonous ones live and shoo them away. Poisonous ones, sorry you let me know you are here and the war is on. My kids run through the woods and the yard with their friends. Do we teach them to be wary and not pick up any snakes at all. However, copperheads blend so well into their surroundings.
This began a drive to find out more information. It was small enough to be a young one, was it a baby and if so is momma around? How many more can there possibly be? I asked some people that I felt were quite knowledgeable on the subject and then hit the web. I do so love Google!
So here are some basic facts that I discovered while on my merry chase for snake info. Keep in mind I only really looked into copperheads. We have a few others that hangout around here that I will write about as they come out of hibernation.
- Females can have 3-9, a couple of sources said 2-10, live babies.
- Females may or may not hang out after giving birth. If they do hang out it be due more to environmental conditions than anything else. Basically, “Hi babies, welcome to the world. Now off you go to hunt. Good luck darlings.”
- They awaken March-April depending on the weather. They breed between April and June and the female will only breed with one male per year but are not life mates.
- Gestation is 3-9 months depending on environmental conditions.
- They are the most frequently seen snake throughout the U.S.
- Their bites are typically not fatal while they are extremely painful.
- Babies are born with venom and ready to bite, they tend to be more dangerous because they have not learned how to control their venom.
- Attacking is not their first instinct unless you step on them or go to pick them up. They are likely to run first or emit a “cucumber” scent.
- They do not breed until they are at least 4 years old and during breeding that males are extremely aggressive. Mostly because they think it’s sexy.
- They do like to hibernate in communes (so they have a sustainable mission as well) and congregate together.